Sunday, May 30, 2010

Throw a quilt on it.

This has won the award. This is my favorite cake to date. I mean the idea of a bed cake is quite unique I must say...but the reason behind it is absolutely adorable. This was for a friend of our's Peggy Shields. Her and her sisters are throwing an 80th birthday bash for their mommy. (happening today I might add) She loves to quilt and they actuallt requested a bed cake with a quilt on it. I'm so glad they did because I'm in love with it. Take a look!

hehehehe, it makes me giggles just looking at it. All of the outside of the cake is fondant decorations..even the quilt. I just used toothpicks and some cookie cutters to decorate. It's amazing what the most simple kitchen tools will do.

Some close-ups of the cuteness. In case you were wondering...the cake was vanilla with vanilla buttercream. Luckily for me, I shaved off a lot of the cake while building it...then, I stuffed my face full of the cake and felt like I was on a sugar hight for the following 9 hours after I had completed the cake. Unfortunately those 9 hours should have been sleeping hours....but they weren't.

Then came the massive amount of cupcakes that followed. 225 to be exact. Here are some of the chocolate fudge with peanut butter buttercream. Also my favorite. And...yes, you can have more than one favorite...I just decided.

Spice with cream cheese. Sprinkles with some cinamon and sugar. de- to the lightful. I felt like siting by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate and one of these babys. I'm not sure why.

And here, white with first favorite. These were decorated to match the cake, because I thought it would be pretty cute. Turns was!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Waving Paradise Goodbye

This is the last picture of the most delightful event that I have ever taken part in. But, I thought that it was my duty to share some of the most outstanding parts of the expo.
Now, before I show you the lasting good impressions...I would like to show you the lasting not so good impressions. This, right up here was probably the most disgusting thing I've ever tasted. Now, no offense to the lovely creator of this product because the intentions were decent. But, this just tastes like crap. It's called Cheaters. It's a liquid that is supposed to taste like different pastrys, pies, and cheesecake. I had the banana cream pie. Well, it tastes like banana cream crap. It was a neon yellow liquid that kind of looked like neon urine. Not my favorite. But hey, maybe for some people this is really great. So, try it...when it comes out in the nearest grocery store....IF it does.

So many wonderful pictures of candy bliss. To make specific note, take a look at that purple tree. I'm not sure about you...but if that was in my house..I wouldnt be upset. I love the idea of a candy tree. I can see it now, Christmas Candy Tree. Yes, yes, and yes. Some other pictures of note: a gian inflatable Smarties, and other pictures of candy heaven.

Ok lets talk about these pictures. There were some pretty amazing things at the expo but these things were over the top. The top left picture is a picture of masculinity. A Jack Links claw game. Even was free. I think mom and I played it six times. And, hold for applause, I won something. Yes, I won a beef jerky t-shirt. I'm so proud of it!

Then there was the jelly belly mona lisa. I think I stood and admired it for at least 10 minutes. It was amazing. I'm mean, who does that? I want to meet them.

Then there was the Pez motor-bike and last but least one of my favorite things at the show, called Sweets In Blossom. They take candy...and make a boquet out of it! AHHH! This is my type of boquet..let me tell you *hint for Jared* haha, it was wonderful...I drooled over them.

Then there was this odd jelly belly type blow up man. It was weird...but I needed a picture with it....and football. Football was getting jealous of all the attention that everyone else was getting. So, I thought that him and jelly man would be fast friends...turns is a drama queen.

Can we all use our eyes to see this picture. This is a giant Lindt chocolate bunny. I was overwhelmed at the site of it. It was like seeing one of the wonders of the world. It was truly a moving experience. So I needed to get all close and personal too the form of a bunny kiss. I love you Lindt Choco bunny. I love you.

And are the results. The results of this fabu-lash trip that I took with my mommy. It was the trip of a lifetime and nothing short of it. Apart from my nights spent on the bathroom floors...every single detail of this trip was fantastic. Hopefully I can go back someday. Maybe next time I'll be the one buying. I love you Chicago. I love you 55 pounds of samples.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

View From Heaven...and a Taste From it too!

Chicago. I love it. I'm in love with this city...more importantly..I'm in love with their food. They are friendly, the streets are cleaned, and more than one statue I have seen is adorned in Black Hawks aparrel (quite disturbing actually). I love it.

Mommy and I had one night left in the city so we thought we would become historically knowleged in all things Chicago. What better than taking a top-open bus? We ran as fast as we could to catch it, and then realized that we practically had the tour all to was wonderful.

Heres the catch to all of these pictures. You might notice a trend. I'll see if you can pick it up. Well, you see, mom and I were playing this game yesterday at the candy expo and if you shot these beanie bags into this hole then you got a special prize. My beanie bag skills were lacking, but of course, Mom won. So, the prize was this lovely football...and we thought that it should accompany us on our traveling excursions throughout the city...and be present in all of our pictures, so bear with me.

And this ,my friends, was our tour bus. It was fury on the outside and it felt very soft. I liked it alot. It made me feel like a wild cheetah or something.

Then after the tour bus, the tour guide told us that we had to go on top of the sears tower. Now, I'm not one for I was hesitant. But, we figured that we had to do it since we were in chcago. So we did. Football was very pleasant. But, he was so scared looking out that window...that he didn't say anything.

And then, I did the most freightening thing that I have ever done. They just put these clear boxes on the side of the tower so you can look like you are stepping on mid air. It was ridiculous. My mom barely stepped on for two seconds before she got scarred. I had to take football on this excursion to the box. Look at him, it's like he's floating 1 mile above the city. He could hardly take it.

Last stop, but the most important,was dinner. I decided that since I was in Chicago...I HAD to eat some Chicago style pizza. They are known for it...and I needed to do it. I mean, the theory of the deep dish stuffed pizza was ridiculously good in my eyes. So, we picked the original. Pizzeria Uno. However, there was like an 8 hour line so we went to their sister restaurant Pizzeria Due, which had the same menu and was like 8 jumps away from Uno.

People, I'll never be the same after eating that eight inch heigh slice of deliciousness. It was the most unique thing that I've ever tasted. The cheese is on the bottom then the meat/onions/peppers, then the sauce. It was sweet-tasting. The tomatoes were whole and the crust tasted like a sweet butter biscuit.
I'm telling you this is one of those things that I'm going to crave when I can't get it. After about 10 minutes of this pizza, my mom and I looked at each other..and we were sure that we had just eating the best that this world has to offer. It took some time for us to realize it...but I'm rock solid sure now. You must go to Chicago just to eat this pizza. It's the best substance that has ever been on my lips. Would I tell you a lie?

But, as most may already know, I am a health FANATIC. Despite me baking hundreds of pounds of cake/pastry/cookie products, I won't eat them. Or, I wil just take a bite. That's kind of my trademark line when we go out to eat. Can I have a bite? Can I taste that? Just a little nibble? These are a few of my common phrases. I'm the moocher of the family. Ehh, they can deal with it.
So, I ordered a plate of veggies to feel better about eating this heart-attack pizza slice. I'm sure it was more calories than I comsume in 10 days, but you know, it was worth it. It was so worth it. And...I even had some Candy Samples for dessert. Hehe, I'm so bad.

And then, right acros the street....was.......a.......TRADER JOE'S! The most wonderful and amazing store made of whole, natural, and organic products. They have them most wonderful little snacks and treats, but all are turned healthy. It might as well have been called Trader Lauren's. I'll get on that. Oh, they even had organic animal crackers! I was going to purchase them right until the time that I realized I had already had 45 pounds of samples in my posession. No animal crackers :(

Then, football got jealous. He got real jealous. He wanted to know why I hadn't taken his picture lately. I tried to tell him that I was holding him in my hand in that last picture, but he wanted more. So, I picked a color that would be good for his eyes, a there you go, football feels all better.

Last night in Chicago. Only one more day of Candy Expo Bliss. What an amazing trip this has been. I mean, look at the view of Chicago by night out of our hotel room balcony that I almost fell off of? I love it here. Why must it end?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Think I'm Bleeding Sugar Cystals

I think I'm bleeding sugar cystals. Day number two was even more fabu-lash than the first. I know, I'm not sure how in the world it could top day #1 but somehow it did. So, what better to start off the morning than with a deliciously nutritious breakfast of orange juice.............and a plate of candy. Well, you see, I thought that i would stick with the candy was only fair to the Candy Atmosphere of the show.

Yes, it is. That is MARC SUMMERS! He is the host of the Food Network Show Unwrapped...which I am partially obsessed with. The only problem with this lecture? We had to wake up at 5 freaking 45 in the morning. But, it was all worth it. He is an amazing lecturer...if that is even a word. He was sweet and down to earth.

Yes! I got a picture with him! Thank you to my mother who shoved our way through the crowd to make sure we got a picture. Then, she had one of my "blog-cards" with her. After completely emabrrassing my face mother tried to tell him that everyone tells me I should have my own food network show. Oh my dear mother....... Although, this picture is definitey a highlight of my life.
Could this really be happening to me? I really don't think this is real. How am I here? I'm loving it. I'm loving life. Oh, and Marc Summers said that you need to send a letter to a famous person who you want advice from. Guess what? My Paula Deen letter just sent out on Monday! Woo! Points for me!
Today was a day of wonderful things: including.......cocktails! Oh yes....the sweet sweets rewards of candy expos! Free cocktails! WOoOOooOO! Ok so that is actually a stretch of the truth. See, we actually went BACK up to Hello Cupcake's table. Luckily, today they were making cupcake cocktails. I'm pretty sure if this didn't have my name written all over it...then nothing in the world does.

Arn't these just the cutest things you have ever seen. I'm quite partial to the pink, if you can't tell. I just decied that I'm having a cupcake cocktail consider yourself invited. We will hav a grand ole' time sipping...or biting...or shoving. The last is probably my preference.

So I'm guessing you can now tell whos is whos. My mother was just so proud of her little cocktail. And, I must say....that I was thoroughly impressed. The only glitch? Well, she dipped the rim in about 17x as much sticky karo syrup as needed. The result? Well, lets just say that we had a little coconut path all the way to our next destination. Again mom...nice....try....hehe.

So, obviously I'm going to share pictures of the floor of the candy show with you, but you'll just have to be a little bit patient. For now, I'll just show you the goods or the benefits if you will. This, my just the goodies we picked up today...yes JUST TODAY!

Close view of today's goods. Now, if you see something in particular that you would immensly desire...just let me know because a few options might present you. Number one, I will have already consumed it (like those Anderson pretzel twists). Number two, I do desire it so the chances of me giving it to you are very bleak. Or, Number three, I'm feeling nice and decide to share. The third option will be rare, but there is a chance you can benefit from this expo of deliciousness too.

And then, I felt that itwas ridiculously necessary that I would take a picture of both day's samples together. Well, lets just say that it was about 6 inches deep the whole length of the bed. Not shy of about 45 pounds. I've never been so happy for extra weight in a suitcase.

A Taste of more ways than one!

So Chicago. This place is actually really nice! I'm not really sure why...but I had always pictured this place to be dirty and grungy. It's not! It's absolutely beautiful (at least the parts that I've seen)

We were walking in this place called Nay pier the other day, and we decided to do something spontaneous. We took this little boat ride on the Tall Ship Windy. See there was this super-dooper fast boat right next to it. It was like a thrill ride for 30 minutes. I really liked the idea until I thought of the aftermath of that decision. Vomit Train. Yeah, so we went the sissy route. But, it was absolutely beautiful and a great way to start the afternoon off. There we are up there on the little boat. It was precious.

Now, I know I'm swirving from my theme of Miss Cupcake a little...but hold on..I'll get back to food in approximately 1.23 seconds. But, just look at this lighthouse. It's beautiful. It's one of those pictures that you just snap and fall absolutely in love with. Ok, now back to the important stuff.

Now, if you know me...then you know that I'm indecisive. Escpecially when it comes to restaurants. THis is due to the fact that I want to ensure the most pleasurable dining experiene possible...and there are so many options. But, my dad told me about this amazing Italian place that served ridiculously big portions. Now I'm not going to lie and say that I'm a big eater. But, I'm what they call a "food pusher." Basically I eat bicariously through other people. It's terrible, I know...but I find a wonderful sense of pleasure in seeing people stuff there face....even better if it's my cooking....this is why Jared is so good for me ;) (because he loves my food)

So the moral of that sweet little story is...I was excited. Lots of Italian food everywhere sounded like a great plan to be. So Maggiano's it was! Let me just say.....................I can't even use words to describe my wonderful feelings of deliciousness radiating from this restaurant. It's a life changer.
This is what my mom got to eat. I kind of pressured her into it beause I wanted a bite (a really big bite) I'm not sure if that was the correct spelling...but close enough. Basically the name of it should have been Chicken from God. Because, it was perfect. I would kill a chicken by hand if I knew how to prepare that chicken dish. It was crusted with parmesan and sitting in a light white wine sauce with arugula and crispy sauteed potatos. Ridiculous. Thats what it was.

And then, there where these. Crispy herbed onion straws. About 6x the normal serving size. Yeah, those were mine..and I wasn't about to share. They were for my salad...because I decided that would be good. My salad had arugula, chicken, apples, grapes, candied walnuts, and blue cheese vingarette. Amazing...fantastic.
So, "May the straws be with you." Go to Chicago. Eat these, and enjoy the bliss that will follow.
Oh yes, I almost forgot to tell you about dessert....I guess you can guess what I had....hehe. I had about 40 pounds to choose from...and I'm not even exaggerating.
Then, we came back to the hotel last night, and looked out our window to see this. Absolutely beautiful. It was warm, lovely, and I was ready for yet another fun-filled day.
Oh and PS, I slept in the bathroom the past two nights. Why you may ask? Well, not because I like close access to the toliet or the shower or toothpaste....but because of this persistent noise that was not covered by music, hot pink earplugs (although they were mighty fashionable), or the fan turned on high. Take a gander at what that might be.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vision of Heaven

I think I have found it...heaven on earth. Well, for me anyway. This is it people. The 2010 Sweets and Snacks Expo. Yes, this giant candy expo is ten football fields long of sweets and snacks. I found myself at home with the greatest in the candy business....and....people who are passionate about what they do...just like me. So the first picture of the day? Yes, the stairway to heaven..complete with starburst escalator. and..why isn't that in my house?

So, I give you the highlights of day one. Now, of course there is more...but I'd at least like to share a little teeny tiny bit!
Then, I saw it I started shaking. Shaking lots. My mother had to calm me down...but I didn't. It lasted for about seven hours.

The first thing of note? I saw this This was wonderful. A Christmas tree covered in chocolate ornaments. I don't know about you..but I'm pretty sure that this is a tree I wouldn't mind having it in my house!

Then, there were these. Yes, you can barely see what they I will tell you. Giant marshmallows! About 4x the size of a normal marshmallow! These bags were unfortunately taped we couldn't sneak them away. :(

Then I saw this giant cupcake. It was amazing. I was uncontrollably wonderful. Then, I met the most wonderful and cutest person ever, Gia Micheals. She's such a cutie, and her stuff is amazing. Her story is even more amazing!

There she is! She's so cute!
And then, it happened. This women right here is why I came to the show. Karen Tack from Hello Cupcake. Yes, you all know that book I'm obsessed with? Well, she, and Alan to my right, are responsible for this masterpiece. Well, I met them. They are both wonderful people. I kind of had a physco attack when she turned around and actually talked to me. See, I had a "portfolio" ready for her, just in case she would talk to me. Well, SHE DID! She loved the pictures, and she said that she would have so much fun looking at it tonight! Oh my gosh!
Was this really happening to me? and guess what..? I just have to tell you this story. She was showing us how to color sanding sugar, and she showed us the food coloring box, and she was like.."Oh yeah, I actually made those cookies on that box." Yeah, that's how cool that was. She's a food stylist. I'm pretty sure that shes exactly what I want to be when I grow up. And...she gave me her home email (which I'm not sharing! hehe) She told me I could ask her any question I wanted. Ohh! I'm just so excited! Could this change my life?!! hehe
Oh, and that's not the coolest thing about it. She let us make cupcakes!! Yes, she had a cupcake making stand set was amazing. I made the lomein one from her cookbook. Isn't that broccoli the cutest thing ever! I think my mom said it aout 38 times today...haha.

And then, there was my mom's cupcake..hehehe...yeah...about job mom? Haha, well to be fair, it did look alot nicer before she shoved it in her purse and it rolled around a few times. Bravo mommy. Way to.....try...haha.

Then there were the "samples." Ok, I know, I think I got a little too excited with the goodies. But, I'm pretty sure this picture describes me more than anything ever has. I'm pretty sure that we had about 25lbs. of it.
Yes, it's kind of like a tower. My devious look is pretty much how I felt all day. Guys, I'm not lying here...we spend 7 hours in the expo...and we still arn't done. Which means, there are many more samples to be had. So, there will be more. Lot's more. We actually need to check a second suitcase on the way home. Yeah, I is pathetic.

A mound of deliciousness...that's the only way to describe how I'm feeling right now. More to come on the candy expo....lots more to come!
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